Like a boss. And some quinoa.

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You know it’s Labor Day when there’s tartan! Gotta be reppin’ at the Scottish Gatherings and Games in all my Clan Scott-ness, ancient green tartan and all. Like a boss. Or a Scot. Which is pretty much the same thing!

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Also… I made english muffins again! But… they were kind of flat. Delicious, but flat. So no recipe yet but a picture nonetheless because the little rising muffinlets were cute.

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So. Quinoa.

I kind of have a love-hate relationship with it… I either really do it right and really love it, or I’m rather meh about it. Like for instance if I just cook it with water and then expect myself to eat chicken and veggie on top of it, I’ll do it but I inevitably end up thinking less than flattering thoughts about it in my brain. However! When I do it right, like in these little guys, all is right in the quinoa universe.

Sorry that the carrots are rather aggressively orange in these photos…

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They’re like little hockey pucks of deliciousness! Besides, who doesn’t like an excuse to make things in muffin tins?

Easy to throw together, delicious, and good for me. Of course I want a dinner like that! And versatile enough to be lunch (and breakfast if you’re me, odd child).

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Quinoa Cakes with Peas and Zucchini

I made these in my so-called ‘jumbo’ muffin tins, but I didn’t fill them all the way and I don’t find them to be particularly jumbo anyway sooo… use what you have! I got 12, which was dinner for 3 with enough leftovers for my lunch. The recipe is slightly adapted from The Fitchen, here!

Vegan!

  • 1/2 c dry quinoa
  • 1 c water
  • 1.75 c oat flour
  • 1/4 c rye flour
  • 1 c peas
  • 1/2 c grated zucchini
  • 1 flax egg [1 tbsp ground flaxseed+3 tbsp water]
  • 1/4 c refined coconut oil, melted
  • 1/4 c + 2 tbsp unsweetened rice milk (or other nondairy bev)
  • 1/4 c nutritional yeast*
  • 1.5 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • pepper, to taste

*Nutritional yeast is easy to find in the bulk section—I get mine at Whole Foods

Firstly, cook quinoa! Start water and rinsed quinoa in a medium saucepan, bring to a boil, then turn down to a simmer and let it go, covered, until the water is absorbed (about 15-20 minutes). Don’t peek! It makes it take longer… Fluff it with a fork when done and let cool.

Preheat the oven to 350, and lightly grease muffin tins of choice (I use coconut oil or butter for this).

Grind your own oat flour in a food processor! 2 cups of oats=1.75 c oat flour, or thereabout. I swapped in a 1/4 c of rye flour, but feel free to use all oat. Toss flour into a largeish bowl, stir in cooled quinoa, baking powder, and salt, and set aside. Make your flax egg now, and set that aside as well. Grate zucchini, defrost peas. In a smaller bowl, combine all the liquid ingredients: flax egg, coconut oil, and rice milk, as well as the nutritional yeast.  Stir liquid ingredients, zucchini, and peas into the dry bowl, until just mixed.

Fill muffin tins about 3/4 full, smooth the tops (or not), and pop them into the oven for 25 minutes. These keep well in the fridge to be reheated for lunch or breakfast later!

Happy Tummy Conga Lines

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YOU. GUYS.

I know I have like umpteen zillion banana bread recipes on the blog, but seriously. Ignore the other ones (well, not really–they have their merits too.. just for today!)

THIS is my favorite. Hands down, I’ve-already-eaten-two-slices-and-am-heading-for-another-one-someone-stop-me kind of bread. Like, half the loaf is gone (I’ve had help, let’s be real here).

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And besides that, it is FAB with blackberry jam. Especially when that jam is handmade and acquired from a lovely local source. I’ve never put jam on banana bread before now but I’m probably not going back. Ever.

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Luckily for me, not only is this one a fast and easy one to whip up, but it’s full of healthy for me things like coconut oil and buunahhnuhhsss and whole grains and honey.  Good thing too that we had literally two bunches of dead bananas spread out between the fridge and the freezer and they were looking so sad and dead and brown… clearly they needed to go into something delicious like this. They’re much happier now, they wanted me to tell you.

Go make your dead bananas happy. Bake them into something that then makes your tummy do a happy dance! Mine is, we could have a tummy conga line. Umm yeah okay this is getting out of hand with talking bananas and gastrointestinal conga lines, but seriously. Make, eat, love!

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Why is it gone?!

Coconut Oil and Honey Banana Bread

If you’re not a coconut fan, don’t worry! There’s no coconut flavor noticeable in the bread—I used refined coconut oil for baking, as it can take high heat. This bread is SUPER hydrated (remember, we don’t use the m word), but not squishy. It’s the perfect balance between hydrated and dense, with a nice crumb. It only has a 1/4 c of honey added, so make sure your bananas are deady-dead-dead. The deader the bananas, the sweeter the bread! Mine were literally black. So gross…until they aren’t! This makes one loaf, and the recipe is (ever so slightly modified) from Relishing It, here! SO happy I found it.

  • 1/3 c refined coconut oil
  • 1/4 c honey (mine was local, yay!)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1.5 c mashed, dead bananas (I used about 5)
  • 1.75 c whole wheat pastry flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • a few sprinkles of chia seeds (can be left out)

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Preheat the oven to 350, and lightly grease a loaf pan (I use more coconut oil).

In a mediumish bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, sea salt, and chia seeds. In a smaller bowl, have fun mashing up all of your dead bananas and trying not to be too disgusted by how brown they are. Ahem, moving on…

Stir together coconut oil and honey until they’re creamy and mixed. Slightly beat eggs and then stir them in as well, followed by vanilla. Mix lightly until combined, then stir in dead banana mashup. Adding the dry ingredients a bit at a time, stir them in until the dry is just incorporated–don’t over mix! No one wants tough buhhnahhnuhh breadz.

Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan, and pop it into the oven for just about 45 minutes—mine came out at 45 but probably could have gone for a few more. Let cool in the pan for a bit, then turn out onto a cooling rack to cool completely. I’m sure it stores well, but as mine is rapidly disappearing I’m sure we’ll have no issues on that front…

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Carbs are my friends.

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I love carbs.

You know, I used to have a teeshirt back in middle school (high school? Don’t remember) that said “I [heart] carbs!” above a food pyramid composed completely of… carbs. Inspired, that’s what that is.

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If I was to make up a pyramid for the carbs I eat now… hmm… Bottom layer: creamy oatmeal!! And other grains like amaranth and millet. Second layer: definitely toast. Bread, of all kinds. Toast bread… crusty, ciabatta-type stuff, olive and walnut, etc. etc. And then the third layer: flatbreads and tortillas! Because I don’t eat those quite as often. And then the little pointy part [eat sparingly, haha yeah right]: whole wheat croissants from La Boulange and… animal crackers [because I only eat them once in blue moon]. But only Barbara’s oatmeal kind, I’m rather particular. Yessss. Pyramid of carbs. Such a fabulous idea.

So! Because carbs are my friends… I made flatbread again! Except this one is different than the last one and my cat didn’t express interest…

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This one is a Sri Lankan recipe called roti. Super easy to make and so delicious, I made a half batch due to lack of coconut and made 6… annnddd they disappeared within about 10 minutes of actually making them. I think we can safely assume that they were delicious. Especially with butter. Mmm. Butter makes everything better. Maybe that should go in my pyramid somewhere… my pyramid of carbs and butter. Or according to Regina George they’re the same thing: “Is butter a carb?!” haaa.

(Veggies would obvs be in my pyramid too but you’ve heard me expound enough about how it’s ridiculously challenging to keep me in vegetables so let’s just stick to carby wonderfulness).

Anyway. Make these flatbreads! They’re good either savory or sweet, and I’m sure they would be fab with curry,  but too bad we ate them all before I could make anything to eat them with. Whoops.

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Sri Lankan Whole Wheat Roti

Delicious recipe lightly adapted from Curry and Comfort, here! I made a half recipe and got 6 of various sizes; the full recipe (posted below) should yield 9-11.

  • 3 c whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 c shredded unsweetened coconut+milk bev for soaking
  • 1 c cool water
  • salt to taste
  • a bit more coconut oil for cooking

In a small bowl, soak coconut shreds in your milk bev of choice—I would have used coconut milk if I’d had one open; I used rice milk. Use enough milk to just moisten them, but not too much–you don’t want it soupy, just hydrated! Set aside.

Sift whole wheat flour (or don’t, if you’re lazy like me) into a bowl, and add melted coconut oil and salt. Stir in soaked coconut. Start adding water a little at a time until a dough forms. It should be about the consistency of play-dough!
Heat a cast iron skillet over medium high heat with a bit of coconut oil in the bottom. When it’s hot, pat the dough into flattish little shapes (Try not to play with it too much, as tempting as it is…. no one wants tough roti), and pan fry them until they brown on both sides. Serve warm with butter! Or curry, or whatever you have on hand. I think they’re best immediately, but I’m sure they would be just as good reheated.

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Happy Birthday, Bloglet!

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Happy Birthday, little Bloglet!!

My little baby bloglet is TWO years old this week!! (I say this week as I’m really not sure what day I started, and wordpress isn’t telling and I’m far too lazy to look back at my posts, whoops).

I feel like a proud parent! It’s so cute. To celebrate, I made… pie!!! (of course). I love my bloglet. Pie equals love. Therefore (QED?!), because I love my bloglet, I have made it a pie! And then I get to eat said pie, so everybody wins. Mmm, warm pie. Happy birthday, little two year old bloglet! Thank you for giving me an excuse to make pie (right. As if I ever needed an excuse to do that), even if it was a thousand degrees the day I made it and my dough got all sticky. Note to self: hot weather = sticky things = use mo’ flour! Whatever, got the crust in the dish in one piece so sticky is clearly sooo not a big deal.

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There has been such a massive amount of change over the two years I’ve been writing this, I’m so thankful I’ve had this as a creative outlet. It’s hard to believe it’s been two years since I started! 142 posts, lots of snark, and some epic fails later, I can look back with quite a bit of pride! Lots of growth to be had if you check out the early pictures (actually, do me a favor and let’s ignore those, shall we?) versus the later ones. Lots more invisible internet friends! You know I love you. Some things haven’t changed though: I’m still as irreverent and alternative awesome as I’ve ever been (wait. Probably even more than I was…you can be the judge of that ;) and the food is still delicious. I think. Most of the time!

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For now, here’s a list (because I love them) of things I’m loving right now:

1) Gottschalk’s Symphonie romantique, “La nuit des tropiques”! Love love love.

2) Monarch of the Glen. Ob.SESSED.

3) Whole wheat english muffins. Like that’s ever going to change…

4) ALLL the grains and seeds (bird food. whatever): barley, amaranth, millet.

5) LENTILS! Enough said. I eat them for breakfast (I heard that and saw that eyeroll. Let’s not be judgy, you wouldn’t love me unless I did weird things like that, riiiight?!)

6) Reading several books at once. I think my current total is 4. And yes, I will finish them all ;)

7) Raw honey and cinnamon on toast. How have I not discovered this before now?

8) Single crusted pies. That way, you get smacked in the tastebuds by summer’s gloriousness!

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Anyway. Random things that were on my mind, and now they’re on yours. Muahha! Next thing you know you’ll be eating lentils for breakfast…

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Marionberry-Peach Pie

Makes one 8″ pie. The crust is the same one I’ve used before, coconut oil-whole wheat. It’s delicious and easily the fastest and least irritating pie crust I’ve ever made. Even when it’s ridiculously hot in your kitchen, it still cooperates with only minimal fussing. Oh yeah, and it’s absolutely delicious as well!

Crust: 1 whole wheat coconut oil crust, 8″

For the filling*:

  • 1 bag frozen peaches (I cut up the slices a bit because they’re usually really chunky)
  • 2 bags of frozen marionberries
  • 1/4 c whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 tbsp tapioca (I use quick-cooking)
  • 1/2-1 tsp cinnamon
  • 3 tbsp honey

*I used the amount of fruit that would fill my pie dish—the pie was 8″ single crusted, and I didn’t want the filling to sink too much so I threw in an added bag of berries. In my relatively shallow pie pan it was perfect!

Prepare pie crust of choice and preheat oven to 425.

In a large-ish bowl, toss together peaches, marionberries, flour, tapioca, cinnamon, and honey. I usually thaw my berries/fruit slightly, since honey tends to be difficult when it hits frozen things—it mixes a bit better when the fruit is slightly thawed. Once everything is combined, pour filling into the prepared pie crust, and bake for 15 minutes. Lower the oven temp to 350, and bake for about another 45 minutes, until the juices are bubbling and the crust is lightly browned. Remove from the oven and let cool a bit (but serve warm!).

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Transcendental Pie.

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Oh little bloglet, I do love you. I wasn’t even going to post today, but I suppose the bloglet muse struck…

AND I have this pie. Oh my goodness.

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There are no words. So, you get pictures.

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Actually, there are words. Words like family. Sunshine. Warm fruit. Warm weather. Nostalgia. Long evenings, dusky twilights. Memories. Summers that felt endless. Fresh. Happiness. Peace. Soul.

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Pie.

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Pie to me seems older than many traditional desserts or foods… it’s one of those intrinsically ‘family’ foods. When I make it and eat it, I feel a connection to generations of female family members who made pie before I did, and fed it to their loved ones. This is why I make pie by hand, not with a food processor or any other technical kitchen implements. I like just using a simple pastry cutter, and my mom’s wooden rolling pin. So simple, yet I think it makes the best pie. Why is it that the simplest things are so often the best? Probably because we get so much more out of the taste sensation than delicious food: nostalgia and taste receptors go hand in hand. To me, pie is generations of strong women. It makes me proud to feel connected to them in a physical way—those strong, wonderful, loving women who came before me.

So this pie is an homage to them: I am proud to derive my lineage from such a long line of fantastic women and their pies!

Happy early Mother’s Day to my mama, and to all of the wonderful mothers in this world!

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Simple Peach Pie

I know this is the second peach pie recipe on the blog, but um… I LOVE peach pie. So I’m giving you choices! This one is slightly healthier than it’s predecessor, not like that particularly matters when it comes to pie. But actually, this is my favorite of all of the pies on here! Simple, and delicious. The crust comes together easier than anything, and the filling is easy as well. Since it wouldn’t be a Hayley post without some nutritional tidbits, of course I have to add a note about the healthy fats from the coconut oil crust, and the blood-sugar regulating properties of cinnamon. Peaches are fruit, fruit is good for you… Whole wheat crust! And minimally processed sweeteners, from unrefined sources. Wheee!

Crust recipe lightly adapted from The Joyful Pantry, here! I made 1/2+1/4 of the recipe, as I wanted cut outs for the top. My pie pan was a shallow 8″, and I had just enough left for a few decorations. The measurements below are for a double crust, makes two 8″ crusts.

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Make pie. Eat. Love.

Crust:

  • 3/4 c coconut oil
  • 2 c whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1.5 tbsp coconut sugar
  • 5-6 tbsp ice water

Filling:

  • 2 bags frozen organic peaches (I think between 2-3 c sliced)
  • 1/4 c honey
  • 1.5 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp whole wheat flour
  • 1 tbsp quick cooking tapioca

Preheat the oven to 400.

In a  bowl, whisk together flour, salt, and coconut sugar. Using a pastry cutter, cut in the coconut oil until the mixture resembles coarse sand. Add in ice water, a tablespoon at a time, until you can form a dough (I like to do this part with my hands). Gather the dough up into a ball, then roll out on a floured surface (I like waxed paper, as it makes it easier to flip the crust back into the pie dish). Once it’s larger than the circumference of the dish, flip the dough carefully back onto your pie dish, and press into place. Poke the bottom a few times with a fork, and crimp the edges so it looks pretty!

Combine peaches, honey, cinnamon, flour, and tapioca in a large bowl. Give it a few stirs… see? I told you this was easy. Pour this into the prepared pie dish, top with whatever kind of crust you’d like (double, lattice, cutouts, whatever), and then pop it into the oven. Bake for 30 minutes uncovered, then use foil to tent it and prevent excess browning, baking it for another 30 minutes. The filling should be bubbly when done, and will thicken as it cools.

Let cool a bit before slicing, but not too much… pie should be eaten warm!

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Haha, what leftovers??

 

Pie.

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Pie.

I love that word. It’s so simple, but it brings with it so many positive associations! Fruit. Ice cream. Family. Eating al fresco. I’m sure you have your own; those are mine. Besides all that, I love that I can pack a dessert full of fruit and then call it good for me… and then call it snack. And breakfast. And maybe lunch. Why not? Fruit+whole grains+healthy fats = a balanced(ish) meal, happy tummy, and happy soul.

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This post is rather short, as I’ve been a bit under the weather. I also loooove the photos, so this time, less is more!

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Life is short. Eat pie. Be happy!

Simple Blueberry Pie with a Coconut Oil Crust

I used the coconut oil crust recipe from Food 52, here, with only a slight modification (ww flour, always!). I wanted to use coconut oil, since it provides a nutritional bump in healthy fats (among other things like antioxidants, antimicrobials, and a host of other wonderful things). I always struggle with pie crust, partially from lack of patience and practice, and also probably because I’ve never used a trusted recipe. I really liked this one though—not only did it come together relatively easily, but it also was quite probably the best-tasting crust I’ve ever made. Winner. I’ll be making this one again, when I can get my hands on some peaches :)

I used blueberries I’d frozen in the summer—if you use frozen fruit, no need to thaw it first.

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Whole Wheat Coconut Oil Crust

  • 2.25 c whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp coconut sugar (or other granulated sugar)
  • 1/2 c coconut oil, cool enough to be solid
  • 1/3-1/2 c ice water

You can do this by hand, or use a food processor if you want to save time, like me. Food processor method: toss flour, salt, and sugar into the processor and pulse to combine. Add in solid coconut oil, and pulse again. It should start to come together when you pinch a bit. Pulse in 1/3 c ice water, until the dough starts to come together even more; adding ice water a tablespoon at a time until it holds together. You should be able to hold a handful without it disintegrating into crumbs. A few crumbly bits are okay, but it should be relatively easy to form it into a ball to roll out.

Flour your work surface and rolling pin. Toss dough onto the freshly floured surface (or, if you’re smart, onto wax paper so you can pick it up easily… definitely remembered that trick *after* I rolled it all out on the counter, oops), and roll it out until it’ll fit into your pie dish of choice. I used a deep-ish one, so I had enough crust left over for a few decorations but not for a lattice.

Gently lift crust into the pie pan, and crimp the edges so it looks nice! Prick the bottom a few times to prevent sogginess (no one wants that). I baked mine immediately—if you’re going to wait a bit, wrap the ball of it in plastic wrap and store it in the fridge, letting it come to room temperature before rolling it out.

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Blueberry Biz!

  • enough blueberries to fill your pie pan of choice. I probably had 1.5-2 c, and could have used a bit more if I’d had them.
  • squirt of lemon juice (about half a lemon’s worth, mine were Meyer lemons, hooray!)
  • 2-3 tbsp brown sugar, depending on berry sweetness
  • 1/6-1/4 c whole wheat pastry flour*

*apologies for the indefinite measurements… when I make pie filling, I usually don’t measure and taste as I go!

Preheat oven to 425, and make sure you have your prepared pie crust lurking around on hand somewhere.

Toss blueberries with lemon juice, brown sugar, and flour in a large bowl. Add blueberries into the prepared pie crust. If you have leftover crust and want to roll it out so that you have an excuse to play with cookie cutters, by all means do so! Place little pieces of crust on top of blueberries, and pop the entire thing into the oven for 15 minutes on 425, then lower the temp to 350 for another 45 minutes. Pie is done when the juices are a little bubbly and the crust is browned. I like my blueberries to have more body and be less like soup, so I took mine out at the hour mark. Let cool for a bit before slicing! Pie stores well in the fridge for the next day’s breakfast… and is reeeeally good with whipped coconut cream. Just sayin’. (I used a can of Trader Joe’s Coconut Cream, chilled it for a few hours, scraped off the cream and whipped it with an electric mixer. I added just a hint of vanilla and maple syrup).

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And one more… just because I happened to make this on Pi Day, and seriously, who doesn’t like extra pictures of pie??

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I really do actually eat vegetables. Promise!

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And now for something completely different in the cookie realm!

Because obviously I haven’t given you nearly enough cookie recipes lately (um. lies?!) And because I’m pretty sure said no one ever there’s such a thing as too many cookies. And if they did, whatever, we obviously can’t be friends. Schaaaawwrryyy! Cookies are the number one principle of my personal philosophy. Life is sometimes tricky, it’s better if you eat a [healthyishkindasortamaybe] cookie!

I think cookies might actually be one of my favorite things to make. Oh really, you say? As if the blog title alone doesn’t prove that!

Cookies on cookies on cookies. One would think this is all I eat…

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Um. I promise I eat vegetables! Like, I actually eat a ridiculous  amount of vegetables. And fruit. And eggs. Ask my mother, she claims it’s difficult to keep me in vegetables… I just… LOVE… SPINACH! Hoooomg. Among other things. I’ve gotten really good at putting spinach where it doesn’t necessarily belong but is undeniably delicious. Like maybe in the banana scramble I made today. So bizarrely wonderful and so perfect for St. Patrick’s day. Hmm. Shield your eyes if you abhor green things, that just might be the next post.

SO anyway. Cookies. Best eaten any time of day, with or without a milk-type beverage.. Eat three, and call me in the morning. Seriously, if medical practitioners gave out this kind of advice, I think the world might be a slightly more magical place.

So now instead of cruncy-hippie-granola raw cookies, you get [somewhat less crunchy but still kind of, whatever I’m still kind of granola] vegan salted caramel chocolate chip cookies! Cue yummy sound. Did I just make the yummy sound? … No. That was definitely you. Oh no? Well.. if it wasn’t *YOU*, and it wasn’t *YOU*… and it wasn’t *ME*…

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Vegan Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookies

Recipe unintentionally adapted from Keepin’ it Kind. I made biggish cookies and ended up with about 15 or 16, but depending on size you could conceivably make up to 24ish… if you use a smaller scooping technique. Don’t judge, I’m rather a fan of large cookies! These are fab cookies, and the dough is just as good (number one perk for vegan baking: dough eating adventures).

I didn’t have coconut sugar, though next time I’ll be using that as my caramel wasn’t quite what was intended visually. It got the point across though, and tasted amazing! That being said… you *can* make these with regular sugar, as I did, but coconut is preferred (and keeps them slightly less refined).

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Let’s make tasty things:

  • 3/4 c sugar (see above note)
  • 1/2 c water
  • 1 c full-fat coconut milk
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 large ripe banana, mashed
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil (mine is the unrefined variety that smells like coconut)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1.5 c whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 flax egg (1 tbsp ground flaxseed+3 tbsp water)
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/3 c dark chocolate chippies

To do so, we…

Make caramel!
Pour sugar and water into a smallish saucepan. Whisking frequently, bring it to a boil. Reduce heat to low/simmering, and let it reduce until the water is reduced by half. If you use coconut sugar, the water should be dark brown; if using regular sugar, it’ll be lighter in color. Keep whisking, as it has a tendency to bubble up. Slowly whisk in coconut milk and continue whisking for 10-15 minutes or until (if using coconut sugar) the mixture thickens and is a dark brown. If you’re like me and you attempted regular sugar, it’ll look grey. Not the most gorgeous color, but delicious. Promise. The mixture will thicken as it cooks, more so with coconut sugar than regular. Stir in the salt, and remove from heat. Let it cool while you do the rest of the cookies, or you can store the caramel in a jar in the fridge (it keeps for several weeks, tightly sealed).

Onward! Cookie time:

Mix up your flax egg and let it sit for a bit to thicken.
Mash up the banana, toss in slightly meltedish coconut oil, and use a mixer to beat until fluffy. Whisk in vanilla extract and 2/3 c caramel sauce (save the rest for later). Once the flax egg sets up, whisk that in.

In a larger bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt. Add dry ingredients to wet, stirring until just combined. Fold in chocolate chips, and slightly flatten the dough into the bottom of your bowl. Pop it into the fridge and let it chill for about a half and hour.

Preheat the oven to 350, and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Remove the dough from the fridge and make several cuts through it with a knife. Drizzle the caramel sauce over the dough, without mixing it in. Drop blobs of dough onto the prepared cookie sheets (whatever size you deem necessary for that particular day…), leaving the streaks of caramel running throughout. The dough will be a bit wet with all that, but just roll with it. Bake cookies for 8-12 minutes (I know that’s a huge range, but I did mine on convection so they ended up going a bit longer. Check at 8, and go from there!) Because of the caramel, the cookies can look a bit underdone, but they should be solid to the touch when done—check the bottoms if you’re not sure. Let cool on the baking sheets for a few minutes, and then transfer to wire rack.

Do yourself a favor and eat one warm out of the oven!

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One furry dork and ridiculous cookies: I’m obsessed.

Wow. My cat just stuck his paw up and gently touched my face. As in a… “You are NOT paying enough attention to me, I’m sitting here looking cute, HELLO I’m furry and adorable and I employ tactics just like Simon’s cats so pat me NOW” type of paw to the face way.

We’re talking about the butternut squash pancake-eating cat.

This one.

What a goober. Maybe he wants to do some yoga?

is this like upward facing kitty? kittyasana?

Have I told you about how he LOVES freshly dead spiders? He must be a pacifist, or else he doesn’t like the tickly feeling of eating legs (I can’t say I blame him really)… he waits for Vati to kill one for him, and then he starts purring as soon as he hears the slap of the birkenstock. And then he eats it off the bottom of the shoe. Weird much?! That and crunchy things. Oh. And he snores.

Welcome to the life of Nosh. Sleep a lot, get fed some freshly dead spiders and crunchy things, paw your human in the face until she pays attention to you, purr until you drool, sleep more, purr more, discover your human doing yoga and join in, and then round out your day with more sleeping. Life’s rough, isn’t it?

(Side note. If you haven’t seen Simon’s cats on Youtube, click away from this page and look it up immediately. You’ll thank me later!).

No, I’m not just a crazy cat lady. I promise this post isn’t completely about little furry beings…

Anyway. Before I so rudely distracted myself going off about the ridiculous paw-to-the-face tactics employed by my resident furball (one of two), I was going to tell you about these:

And how you should tote your laptop into the kitchen and make them. NOW. Immediately. Because seriously, these cookies are amazing. Chewy, oaty, and coconutty. Not a word but hmm, don’t care because these are so amazing. I’m contemplating another batch in the insanely near future they’re that good. And besides, we know how ludicrously picky I am about chocolate chip cookies… so obviously these must be good. Nosh hasn’t rendered his opinion as of yet, unless the face-paw was any indication… maybe he was telling me to go grab the leftovers. Wait, what leftovers? Apparently I’ve eaten them all. Do yourself a favor. Make cookies: your house will smell like love!

Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies

I slightly adapted the recipe from the Cooking Actress, here! I got 9 cookies, rather tragically… when (not if) I make this again, I’ll be doubling the recipe. The cookies are chewy and oaty, with a slight taste of coconut and chocolate.

  • 2/3 c + 1/2c oat flour (equal amounts of rolled oats processed in a food processor)
  • 2 tbsp rolled oats
  • 4 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2.5 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp unrefined coconut oil (the kind that smells like coconut when you open the jar—refined doesn’t have a coconut taste)
  • 3-4 tbsp light coconut milk (from the can)
  • 3 tbsp chocolate chippies

Preheat the oven to 380, and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

Combine oat flour, rolled oats, both sugars, salt, and baking soda in a bowl. In a smaller bowl, melt coconut oil, vanilla, and 3 tbsp coconut milk together. Add wet into dry, adding slightly more coconut milk if the batter seems too dry. Fold in chocolate chippies, and drop by the spoonful onto your prepared baking sheet. Pop into the fridge for a few minutes, until cold. Bake for 7 minutes (best if they seem slightly undercooked when you take them out), and let cool for a least a few minutes on the cookie sheet. I store mine in a plastic tupperware—as much as I dislike plastic, glass containers will make your formerly chewy cookies go soft.

Eat, preferably with a kitty on your lap and with some loved ones around. Cookies are better when they’re shared! <3

Tart-tastic Antioxidants!

mmm, antioxidants!

I’m feeling less than creatively humorous today…It must be on account of all of the holiday sweets I’ve been consuming lately. Oops. Whatever, that’s not stopped me from baking like a crazy! Really, does anything ever stop me? … Correct answer: No.

BUT.

Bring on the healthy (ish) dessert! I win, I win!! Delicious AND nutritious (or hey, I can at least tell myself that, right?!). I sort of needed a break from all of the layer cakes. A short break, mind you, but a break none the less. In comes the tart! This tart is sort of a combination of a rice pudding and a tart crust, but it’s vegan! Which is awesome, as I’d like to get into more vegan baking (I find it intriguing). Besides, I LOVE rice pudding, and this definitely qualifies. It’s also really akin to a sticky rice dessert, which I ALSO LOVE (are we seeing a trend here?!), which therefore also makes it delicious.

On the nutritious side, it has a mostly minimal amount of fat in it—coconut oil is good for you, anyway! It also is made with black rice (sometimes known as Forbidden Rice, as only the emperor of China was allowed to eat it for the benefit of his longevity), which has more of the antioxidant antohcyanin than blueberries! It’s high in fiber, iron, and an excellent source of minerals. AND Kind of can’t go wrong, when I’m eating antioxidants for dessert! No wonder the emperor was so protective of his rice. But the common people have it now, so ha! Besides all that, it is a gorgeous purple color. Which makes my eyes AND my stomach happy. Everyone wins. Including the gremlins that hang out in my stomach, as we know they loooove color.

But wait. There is even more nutritionalness to be found in this dessert! The crust is made with whole grains and cashews (which contain the same oleic acid–monounsaturated fatty acid found in olive oil), and coconut oil, which is insanely good for you (the lauric acid is an antioxidant, among a million other things).

Okaaayyy. Enough with the nutrition lesson. I just really had to convince you how good this is for you… so that you’ll go home and make it. It’s fab, you won’t regret it. And then eat a slice. Or two. Or five. And revel in the fact that you’re making your body happy! It will thank you later :)

mmm, antioxidants

Black Rice Tart

From NeverHomeMaker, original here! (and their blog is fab, check it out!). Makes one tart.

For the crust:

  • 1/3 c raw cashews
  • 1/2 c rolled oats
  • 1/4 c brown sugar
  • 1/4 c coconut oil (because it’s good for youuu!)
  • 1/8 tsp/a pinch of salt
  • 1/2 tsp lavender (we grow our own)
  • 1 tsp vanilla

For the sticky rice

  • 2 c water
  • 1 c black rice, uncooked
  • 1/3 c maple syrup
  • 1 can of coconut milk (I used light from Trader Joe’s and it turned out fine!)
  • 1/3 c unsweetened coconut flakes

Whatcha do!

Preheat the oven to 325, and lightly grease a tart pan (or a pie dish—my tart pan is in Salem, so that’s what I used).

In a food processor, process the cashews and 1/4 c rolled oats until finely ground. Add the rest of the oats, lavender and salt, pulsing to combine. I left some slightly larger chunks. Pour into a medium sized bowl and set aside. In a small saucepan over low heat, melt the coconut oil. Once melted, stir in vanilla and brown sugar, and simmer over a low flame for 2 to 3 minutes. Mine looked weirdly separated/congealed, but turned out fine. Pour the hot syrup over the dry ingredients, and combine thoroughly. Press the crust into your pan of choice, making sure to cover the bottom and go up the sides a ways. Bake for 5 minutes, then let cool. When cool enough, let it set in the refrigerator.

While the crust is cooling, start the water for the rice. When it boils, add rice, cover, and simmer for about 30 minutes, until all the water is absorbed. Add coconut milk, maple syrup, and coconut flakes, and continue to cook until the liquid is absorbed, about 20 minutes more. I stirred continuously (it makes for meditative thinking time, hehe), but I’m not entirely sure this is necessary—occasional stirring would likely be okay. Transfer the pudding to a bowl, and let cool. Chill briefly in the fridge before using. Once chilled, pour the pudding into the tart shell, and chill until serving. I topped mine with more shredded coconut.

It was deeeelicous! Mine had a little trouble coming out of the dish cleanly—my crust was rather sticky. Next time… more coconut oil to grease the dish. It was a bit more like a crumble than a tart slice, but ridiculously tasty nonetheless, so I wasn’t complaining ;)